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I definitely like this lineup in the 4th. I still don't trust Collins in a close game though. He seems to get completely flummoxed down the stretch if it's close (both last year and this year). We've played 15 games. 11 of them were blowouts, we won all 11. 4 games were close, we lost all 4.

He made so many errors at the end of the Nuggets game it was unreal. Isos to Iggy on the final 2 possessions of regulation. Not double-teaming Andre Miller. Removing ET and Thad (the two leading scorers in the game) for LouWill and Meeks on the final possessions of the 4th and OT. Not calling a timeout on the final play of OT.

Is Collins ever going to learn how to coach a close game at the end? Perhaps this is why he eventually wears out his welcome?

Not a big fan of that gif. It's annoying

eddies' heady's on Jan 21 at 10:33

Um, why is my screen blinking?

Cool as hell, love it. Ha clever.

I want to see what Thad does tonight - Miami shut him down in the playoffs, what does he do to adjust?

Turtle Bay on Jan 21 at 12:08

That picture is hurting my eyes

Wade is out tonight...

stan reply to Xsago on Jan 21 at 12:44

Damn. I wanted to see Jrue match up to him defensively.

Damn Brian, thought that graphic and headline meant you were closing down the blog!

stan reply to das411 on Jan 21 at 12:42

Or maybe a protest to SOPA. A little too late for that party.

Like this change a lot. Hopefully it's a new way of thinking on how to close basketball games in general, with defense instead of offense. It's like "Don't worry about what we do on offense, if they can't score, we'll beat them." Really thought this whole unit played outstanding defense even with Willie Green hitting some ridiculous shots. The quality of the Hawks' looks in the 2nd Half with this team on the floor was encouraging. The 3rd quarter had a lot of run-outs and great transition plays, and credit to Jodie and whoever was playing center, but that's not sustainable, at least a 10 point quarter where the team plays out of its mind.

Offensively, every person on the floor is capable of beating you with an isolation. That's good for when things break down, but they are really capable of beating you when just running some offense. If it's close tonight, I'd start by running some cutters off Brand at the foul line and trusting him to make a good decision.

Jrue has really been exceptional this year at stopping dribble penetration by moving his feet. For isolation defense against a quick guard intent on penetrating, I'd even want Jrue over Iguodala (who is still without peer at challenging jump shots).

A couple observations on the Hawks game:
* To my eyes, this was Jrue's best game of the year, and I would have given him PotG. Even though he didn't shoot that well (16 points on 16 shots) and committed 5 turnovers, he played a big part in the 3rd quarter run with his defense and passing. Within that short period of time, he connected on his first alley-oop to Iguodala this year (that I remember) and set up a drive-and-dish dunk (by Vucevic) for one of the first times this year. One of his 4th-quarter turnovers would have been another drive-and-dish dunk if Brand had been able to catch the pass (that's a turnover I can live with). The team is so much better when they get easy offense like that; not coincidentally, it was one of their first wins this year when they were able to overcome bad jumpshooting.
* I noticed that Iguodala had help on Joe Johnson when Johnson penetrated, and I hope they do that tonight with LeBron too. Not having to get completely in front of his man enabled Iguodala to defend the pull-up jumper from Johnson, whose three field goals included two low-percentage, high-arcing jumpers. The most impressive part about Iguodala's defensive performance was Johnson's 8 FGs attempted. What doesn't show up in the boxscore is how many times Johnson passed up a shot because he didn't have one (kind of like the shutdown corner who never gets thrown at). And this followed a game where Gallinari took only 3 shots in 33 minutes for the Nuggets, mainly vs. Iguodala.

No Wade tonight.

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